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Consciousness

Do You Feel Big or Small?

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neilAn old Zen story once was told about using the terms “good” or “bad” to judge situations and events as they happen to us. Perhaps you’ve heard it before. The story is about a farmer who’s horse ran away. When the neighbors heard the news, they said, “Such bad luck!” whereas the farmer replied, “maybe.” The next day, the horse returned with three more wild horses, and the neighbors once again exclaimed, “How wonderful!”, and the farmer again said, “maybe.” The following day, the farmers son rode one of the wild horses and was thrown off and broke his leg. The neighbors said, “How unfortunate!” and the farmer’s response was “maybe.” Finally, the day after, the military was passing through to draft young men to the army. The farmer’s son couldn’t go, in which the neighbors rejoiced and said, “How fortunate”, and the farmer finally said, “maybe!”

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Easier said than done. If you really lost your job tomorrow, could you truly be at peace with it? I think it is crucial for our evolution to stop labeling events that happen to us as good or bad, and instead take on a neutral attitude. Life is all about perspective. By expanding our understanding of this universe on Earth, in which we call home, perhaps we can see that our day-to-day interactions are a mirror of who we are and how the universal laws are evident in us too. Everything is connected. How we treat ourselves is how we treat others. Our attitude about what we are capable of is a direct reflection of our hope for humanity. I invite you to watch Neal Degrasse Tyson in this short video that truly did, astound me.

One way to elevate our consciousness is to dive into beginning to understand more about the universe we live in. It is easy and very natural from a  young age to only interpret the data we collect from our five senses and then formulate beliefs based on those perceptions as to what is real and fake. Besides our five senses, we are conditioned by our environment just as significantly, as to what is true, real, fake, and important, and the messages are very vague, shaky, and unclear. From a young age we are taught to obey authority in school, and in our family structure, we learn the same unconscious limitations that are bestowed upon us. As we grow up to be an adult, we start to get glimpses or shimmers of the truth, but we are still unsure. I believe that it is not only important, but perhaps essential that we begin to question our existence, something that mass media is amazing at distracting us from. They are solid at tuning in to the ego side of us that feeds into illusions and our five sensory perceptions of what is real, and then they belittle, criticize or ostracize anyone that wants to go a little deeper or question things. I think the paradigm needs to change and perhaps it is shifting. We used to look to our elderly folks and sages for their wisdom about how to live more fulfilling lives, and today we are seeing the shift from wisdom to stupidity, glamorizing and exploiting youth. Ultimately, I believe this is happening for a reason, but I want to promote that we can change the world, by being the change we wish to see, as Gandhi best said it. There is only so much we can control “out there” and so it is only wise to change “in here” so that what we see “out there”,  is not something harmful, threatening, or negative, and instead necessary for the evolution of humanity’s consciousness. This is where pure love resides, when we can see the love among the ugliness of the ego. Neal Degrasse Tyson stated two facts about the universe as:

1. We are in this universe

2. We are part of this universe.

He said more importantly, “the universe is in us.”

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We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience. In understanding this, things become more light and less heavy. We have less resentment and anger and become more curious and compassionate. We are less serious and more humorous. We don’t become our emotions and let them drive us, we instead observe our emotions and detach from what no longer serves us. The connectivity he refers to I think is most obviously evident in reproduction. Two souls merge to invite a new soul to Earth.

The story about the farmer is relevant here because we get so caught up in our everyday lives, judging everything that occurs as bad or good, and we fail to see that doing so is counter productive to our evolution. A situation is only “bad” because we label it that way with our mind, and then respond to it with our body as if it were true. Its not good or bad, it just IS. Everything is connected and we are all part of a long story called humanity. As Mitch Albom says, “The world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.”

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Consciousness

Parables For The New Conversation (Chapter 17: The Kitchen)

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The following is a chapter from my book ‘Parables For The New Conversation.’ One chapter will be published every Sunday for 36 weeks here on Collective Evolution. (I would recommend you start with Chapter 1 if you haven’t already read it.) I hope my words are a source of enjoyment and inspiration for you, the reader. If perchance you would like to purchase a signed paperback copy of the book, you can do so on my production company website Pandora’s Box Office.

From the back cover: “Imagine a conversation that centers around possibility—the possibility that we can be more accepting of our own judgments, that we can find unity through our diversity, that we can shed the light of our love on the things we fear most. Imagine a conversation where our greatest polarities are coming together, a meeting place of East and West, of spirituality and materialism, of religion and science, where the stage is being set for a collective leap in consciousness more magnificent than any we have known in our history.

Now imagine that this conversation honors your uniqueness and frees you to speak from your heart, helping you to navigate your way more deliberately along your distinct path. Imagine that this conversation puts you squarely into the seat of creator—of your fortunes, your relationships, your life—thereby putting the fulfillment of your deepest personal desires well within your grasp.

‘Parables for the New Conversation’ is a spellbinding odyssey through metaphor and prose, personal sagas and historic events, where together author and reader explore the proposal that at its most profound level, life is about learning to consciously manifest the experiences we desire–and thus having fun. The conversation touches on many diverse themes but always circles back to who we are and how our purposes are intertwined, for it is only when we see that our personal desires are perfectly aligned with the destiny of humanity as a whole that we will give ourselves full permission to enjoy the most exquisite experiences life has to offer.”

17. The Kitchen

The dinnertime rush at the village restaurant on the island of Allandon was generally hectic for the staff, and this evening was no exception. The cook was moving back and forth across a sizzling grill and the busser was washing and stacking a mountain of dirty plates like clockwork when the waiter banged open the swinging door with empty plates running up both arms. He dumped them down on the counter near the busser, causing one of the plates to slide off onto the ground and break into pieces.

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The waiter paused for a second, as the busser immediately set down to pick up the pieces. “Well don’t blame me,” the waiter said. “Isn’t it your job to pick up the empty dishes from the tables?”

“It is,” said the busser.

“Well get on it, man! People are waiting to sit down!”

The busser did not jump, but instead finished picking up the remaining bits of the broken dish carefully with a broom. “Are they getting restless out there?”

“Damn right,” said the waiter, tapping his finger on the grill counter as he waited for his next food order.

“Any customers take it out on you?” asked the busser.

“It seems like they all are tonight.”

“Well if anybody can handle it, you can,” said the busser, resuming his dishwashing. “You just have this cool way of calming them down.”

A slight grin came over the waiter’s face. “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do,” he said as he lined up the plates of food along his arms in perfect balance. He glided over to the swinging door and, backing his way out, added, “I’ve always said, ‘if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.’ “

“I’ll remember that,” said the busser, smiling to himself as he continued working through the pile of dishes.

The new conversation hinges on our ability to create a space—a space founded on acceptance, a space that builds trust, a space that encourages choice. You don’t need to be highly informed in all matters of great import to humanity to participate. If you bring an openness of mind and spirit, an authentic curiosity about views divergent from your own, and a desire to serve others on their path as you would be served on yours, then you will be doing your part. And if enough of us do our part, the world cannot help but be transformed.

The notion that there is a new conversation today in our society crystallized for me a few years ago during my training at the Adler School of Professional Coaching in Toronto. It was as though the seeds of thought that had long been swirling inside me had suddenly found the soil in which to germinate. While there was a curriculum for the course, the underlying agenda was for the facilitators and the students to co-create each session as much as was practical. The content of the course was fully embodied in its form—a spacious and free-flowing conversation. As a participant I was made to feel comfortable with who I was and where I was at. I could be myself, and there was nothing else needed or expected. Rather than being motivated by external forces based in evaluation and judgment, I was able to get connected with my own inherent desire to learn and to grow. From there I was able to step into the opportunity to be courageous in my participation.

A memorable example of this came during a creative exercise in which we were all asked to draw a picture that represented our inner selves. When it came time for each person to show and explain their drawings, my mind naturally gravitated to which ones were good and not-so-good, and how they compared (unfavorably) to mine. It seemed a little insincere to me how some people could praise and acknowledge each and every drawing, regardless of the clarity of expression or artistic merit. I assumed everyone saw what I saw, and were encouraging one another out of politeness and tact as I had learned to do.

But somewhere during the exercise, as I noticed how heart-felt one acknowledgment after the next seemed to be, an uncomfortable thought suddenly crept up on me: Was my assumption wrong? Was I the only one preoccupied with judgment and comparison? Was I the insincere one? It was a disturbing revelation, and though I could have ignored the thought and tried to ride out the discomfort, I felt I might be missing out on something important. It was only because of the non-judgmental space that had been created in the classroom that I felt just safe enough to risk the embarrassment and share with everyone what I had realized.

My admission—that I was internally judgmental about people’s creative expression and sometimes patronizing in my acknowledgments—made quite an impact on the group. A few seemed shocked by it, and tried to gently express how sincere they were being in their own acknowledgments. Another confessed that she had some feelings similar to mine. More significantly, the conversation as a whole seemed to move to an even deeper level of authenticity from that point on. People expressed gratitude for my honesty. I was grateful too, because of the rare opportunity for me to be in a space where I was able to be real. I believe it was the space that enabled me to hold the awareness long enough to make a courageous choice. Expressing myself went a long way to helping me let go of this habit of thought. In turn this helped me to experience something new from that moment on: a more profoundly satisfying appreciation of other people’s uniqueness and creative expression.

Later in the course, the acknowledgments I received for my own creative expression were all the more moving for me. In a homework assignment I wrote a parable about creativity based on an earlier conversation with one of the participants who insisted she was not creative (see Chapter 30, The Waiter). The praise and encouragement I received to seriously pursue the creative work of writing parables, which I loved to do, helped to inspire me to embark upon a new project I had been contemplating. In front of all my new friends on the final day of the course in October of 2003, I stood up and made the commitment that I was going to write a book that I would call Parables for the New Conversation.

Needless to say, being part of a course that focused on learning the technology of a powerful kind of interpersonal conversation—the coaching conversation—had a big impact on the subject matter of my book. I believe it would be very helpful at this point to explain what coaching actually is, and describe its influence on my vision of the new conversation.

The coaching I am referring to is broadly distinguished as life coaching. It is different from the traditional notion of a ‘coach’ who guides and manages an athlete or sports team and is supposed to be the wise authority on the game. In life coaching the game is life itself, and since the flow of life is change, the mandate of a coach involves helping the client deal with life changes or supporting them in making the changes that will take them where they want to go. Whereas the goal in any sport is clear—to win—in life coaching the goal itself is determined by the client. Together the coach and client identify obstacles along the path of change, brings clarity to real goals, and help clients move towards realizing them.

Coaching is different from therapy, psychiatry or social work, as it does not seek to resolve trauma or fix what is wrong with a client. It works from the standpoint that the client is already creative, resourceful, and whole—capable of being responsible for their own desired transformation.[1] And unlike consultants, advisors, or mentors, a coach does not need to be an expert in any particular area—except in the art and science of the conversation itself. The coach keeps the conversation in a rhythm of penetrating and stepping back, challenging and allowing, inquiring and stating what is.

The coaching conversation tends to move through three phases, represented by the acronym ICA. The first phase deals with the issue that the client brings to coaching, and helps to find greater insight into the issue so that the client can become clearer on what their intention is for the coaching relationship. The second phase taps into the client’s creativity to uncover the broad range of choices available, in order for the client to find the one they will make a commitment to move forward on. The final phase determines the actions that will fulfill the commitment, and sets up the measurable conditions by which the client can be accountable. The learning and growth resulting from their actions gives the client a new awareness, which could lead to a new coaching cycle.[2]

The coach is responsible for creating an environment within which the client can explore their greatest desires, and for providing guidance and encouragement as the client walks through and over the obstacles along their path. While on the one hand the coach is fully committed to the client’s development and has a pointed devotion to their client’s well-being, on the other hand the coach is completely detached from the results of the client’s actions, and so is never in any way judgmental in the way clients go about the business of their lives. In this way, the client is provided with the best environment to embrace choice, their natural birthright, without the influence of coercion, ridicule, pressure, or a sense of obligation, debt, or a desire not to disappoint. There is no doubt that the creation of a safe and supportive environment greatly facilitates a client’s capacity to step into choice and move forward authentically.

One important thing to note is that a true coach looks at themselves not as an authority or expert teacher. The coach models the attitude and behavior of a learner who learns right alongside with the client. It is this equality and reciprocity in the growth process that distinguishes the coaching modality from some of its predecessors. When the benefits are reciprocal, and the energy flows back and forth, then the circle is complete.

Thought not usually as formal as the coaching conversation, the new conversation employs many of the same principles. They are both founded in trust, openness and non-judgment. They both work with the ebb and flow of duality, of speaking and listening, of action informing reflection and reflection informing action, of our tendency to advance into the Dao Self and then retreat back into the Ego Self. These two conversations share a common purpose: to create a space designed to help us step into our highest vision of who we are. However, while the coaching conversation focuses on the specific goals of individuals or small teams of individuals, the new conversation is more expansive: it also holds the space for a unified vision for all of humanity, a collective ambition that plays out in synchrony with the pursuit of our individual purpose and aspirations.

It is in the intersection of our personal and collective journeys that human consciousness evolves. And so, in the new conversation, every single aspect of the human experience forms a part of the story: our politics and our culture, our technology and our art, our day-to-day concerns and the entire span of our history, our bodies and our souls, our greatest triumphs and our most horrifying atrocities. All things big and small, light and dark must have their place at the table if a vision of humanity as One is to finally be revealed.

I believe this revelation is well on its way to being realized, and more and more people want to be an important part of the process. I am noticing that speaking to people today, friends and strangers alike, is so different from how it was even twenty years ago. Today there seems to be a much greater interest in why we are here, where we are headed, what we can do. There is a growing hunger for authentic conversations that encourage us to be real, and hold us accountable for who we are being and what we are doing. Spontaneous discussions are breaking out everywhere, with birds of different feathers increasingly flocking together. We are forming conversation groups like never before to share emerging ideas and information about how to improve our lives, our communities, and the planet as a whole. In the spaces we create we are exploring rather than preaching, observing rather than judging, and opening up to having our deepest beliefs challenged. And the more we do, the greater our conviction becomes that working from such spaces will bring about the fulfillment of our personal and collective destiny.

[1] This means that not everyone is a candidate to be a coaching client, and the coach has an obligation to evaluate early on whether the client is self-responsible enough to bring about their own desired transformation. In a typical one-on-one relationship, a coach will meet with a client for an initial intake session where the coach will come to know many facets of the client in greater detail, including their values, strengths, challenges, and long-term goals. Subsequent regular meetings over the course of three months or longer are held with an awareness of the big picture, the long-term goals the client has entered coaching to achieve.
[2] This cycle is not cast in stone, and is subordinated to the uniqueness of the individual client and their situation. The client is fully involved in a co-creation of the form of the conversation that will serve them best.

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Consciousness

How Collective Consciousness Can Change The Entire Human Experience

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Science has demonstrated that there is an energy field that connects us all, and that at its core, all matter is consciousness. Collective Consciousness plays a huge role in how our world functions.

  • Reflect On:

    What do you believe is possible for yourself and for humanity? Do you feel we are capable of creating a world where we can thrive? Do you find yourself thinking humans are not capable of much? These beliefs affect the world around us deeply.

Want to see change in the world? We have to change collective consciousness. And in order to do that, we must change ourselves.

This has been the core message of Collective Evolution since our humble beginnings in 2009. Why? Because collective consciousness is something at the centre, or core, of what connects all of us. In post material science we are beginning to understand that we are not entirely just a brain inside a body, and that consciousness is who we truly are. Beyond that, consciousness is also at the crux of everything.

We sit at an interesting time in our history where the need and desire to change our world has become something almost all of us feel. Whether we witness the apparent chaos of daily life, the turmoil that happens in areas around the world, or whether we witness the challenges in our own life, we feel this need for change. Deep down, something about the human experience, as it is, seems outdated and almost stale.

We’ve grown tired of suffering, pain, war, poverty, doing the same thing over and over again. We want to experience something new, rich and deep. This is showing up in political activism, the search for who we are beyond our identities, the search for meaning in life and wanting to do careers that we love.

Ultimately, we are searching for peace and a deeper understanding of our reality. So how do we do this? How do we change our world, change the various daily structures we deal with like our economy, government, career paths, as well as the limited idea of what life is and should be. How do we end our suffering and war with one another to truly create a world where we can thrive and have abundance?

Collective Consciousness

If you are gaining curiosity reading this, great. You are feeling something that has been growing within you, and all of us, for quite some time. If you think these ideas are laughable, and that none of this change is possible, then great, because the video below is for you too. Because your disbelief is playing a role in why our world is this way, and it’s time to explore what that truly means.

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Collective consciousness is an energy field, if you will, by which groups of people or all humans connect to and share ideas, beliefs and understandings about our world. This is not a physical space, but one that is energetic or conscious.

Below is a video I created to help explain how something called collective consciousness functions, so we can begin to understand why we must change ourselves to change our world, and how our limited belief of what our world is and can be, plays a role in keeping it that way.

Post Material Science & Consciousness

The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) Laboratory has been trying to wrap their heads around the subject and have concluded that the human mind does, in fact, have a capacity to influence the output of devices known as Random Event Generators (REGs), on a collective scale, or via collective consciousness.

A project that initially started when a student was curious to study the effects of the human mind and intention on the surrounding environment, turned into a rigorous testing lab where Dr. Robert Jahn and his lab assistant spent many hours experimenting to determine whether or not the mind has an effect on our physical world. Jahn and his assistant were able to determine that the human minds interactions with the machines demonstrated a relationship that was not physical in nature. The mind was able to affect and change outcomes of the machine in ways that were beyond standard deviations. In essence, consciousness was having an effect over the physical world.

To determine the effects of the mind’s intention on the physical world, they built several machines called a random number generator. The machine would essentially mimic a coin flip and record the results over time. The machine performed 200 flips per second and produced an average mean of 100 as one would expect. Left unattended, the machine would continue to produce results that suggested a 50/50 chance of producing either heads or tails. The interesting results came when human intention started to interact with the machine. What was once a random 50/50 chance of producing heads or tails began to deviate from expectation as the observer began to intend for the numbers to be higher or lower. While the effects of the mind over the machines was not large, it was enough that contemporary physics is unable to explain what exactly is happening. Perhaps this is where the quantum world can shed light?

The implications of this research on humanity is quite fascinating given it could reach into the realms of creating a world of peace, a thriving world and abundance. If intentions and thoughts can impact something the way it has been demonstrated above, why not explore the boundaries of how far this can go? It is my feeling and understanding that we create our realities with our intentions and state of consciousness and I feel science is starting to confirm this. In time we will realize the true power of our minds and intentions.

The video below is a very brief synopsis of the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research laboratory of Princeton University, whose research into mind-matter interaction forms the foundation of Psyleron Technology.

If we wish to understand collective consciousness more deeply, and how we are all truly connected, a great place to start is to begin exploring what we are discovering in the field of post material science as we study consciousness.

We have a great deal of content to explore on that by clicking here. 

To explore deeply who you truly are, you can listen to this CE Podcast episode.

Sources:
Princeton PEAR Lab

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Awareness

The Health Benefits Of Reading Books Compared To Reading From Screens

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Numerous studies show the scientific benefits of reading. These benefits tend to increase when reading from actual books rather than screens.

  • Reflect On:

    Do screens consume the majority of your time? When was the last time you read a book? Reading is akin to exercise for your brain.

In the age of information we are being bombarded left, right and center with quick facts, fake news, censored information, video images and so much more. This is greatly affecting the span of our attention. To many the idea of picking up a book, when we could just as easily listen to it, or read segments on our phones is completely absurd. However, there are many benefits that come along with reading books that just might make it worth it to you.

Consider just the very act of reading a book in itself, holding it, turning the pages, seeing your progress in the development of the story, it’s almost as if you are a part of it.

Benefits Of Reading Books

Reading requires patience and diligence, which is not something required from a glance and a click on a quick headline. Reading a book  is almost a kin to running a marathon for your brain, I mean if you can finish a whole book!

Reading stimulates imagination and creativity.

Research has shown that reading helps with comprehension and emotional intelligence as well as fluid intelligence — meaning the ability to reason and have flexible thinking. This leads to smarter decision-making regarding yourself and others.

As we age, our memory will decline, but regular reading can help keep minds sharper longer according to research published in Neurology. Frequently exercising your mind was also proven in that same study to lower mental decline by 32 percent.

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“Our study suggests that exercising your brain by taking part in activities such as these across a person’s lifetime, from childhood through old age, is important for brain health in old age,” study author Robert. S. Wilson of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago said in a statement. “Based on this, we shouldn’t underestimate the effects of everyday activities, such as reading and writing, on our children, ourselves and our parents or grandparents.”

Reading can help make you more empathetic — researchers from the Netherlands designed two experiments showing that people who were “emotionally transported” by a work of fiction experienced boosts in empathy,

“In two experimental studies, we were able to show that self-reported empathic skills significantly changed over the course of one week for readers of a fictional story by fiction authors Arthur Conan Doyle and José Saramago,” they wrote in their findings. “More specifically, highly transported readers of Doyle became more empathic, while non-transported readers of both Doyle and Saramago became less empathic.”

Even More Reasons Read Books

Aside from these deeper reasons to read books, here are some more basic ones:

Books are a lot easier on the eyes than screens, which will provide a nice break for many of us as we are spending an increasing amount of time staring at screens at work, at home, on our smartphones while watching Netflix — your eyes could use the break.

One survey of 429 university students revealed that nearly half had complained of strained eyes after reading digitally. Electronic books can cause screen fatigue, which may lead to blurred vision, redness, dryness, and irritation. With print books, you don’t have to worry about any of that.

If you are reading an actual book, there is less of a chance that you will be distracted compared to reading on your phone. A book has no notification pings, buzzes or pop-ups, and you can ensure this distraction free time by leaving your phone in another room or putting it on silent or on airplane mode while reading.

Another great thing about books and the wonderful byproduct of less screen time is less exposure to electromagnetic frequencies, if you don’t have your phone on you, and perhaps you even have your Wi-Fi turned off while not in use you are giving your body a bit of a break from the constant bombardment of these frequencies.

Reading books before bed can help you sleep better, the main reason being — they do not emit blue light, or any kind of light at all actually, which has been shown to interfere with a good night’s rest. Not only that, but personally I find in general, reading a book tends to make me sleepy, so I enjoy reading a few chapters before putting my head down for the night.

Who doesn’t love the smell of a good book? You know that lovely, kind of musty smell old books give off? Or the fresh, crisp paper smell of a brand new book?

Final Thoughts To Consider?

Will reading books become an outdated thing of the past? Or will we be able to stand by the benefits of books and keep collecting them for generations to come? Only time will tell! To finish off, I’ll leave you with some words of wisdom from the late, great, Dr. Seuss,

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss

Much Love

Holographic 2020 Lunar Calendar

An art piece and lunar calendar all in one. This calendar features moon phases for every day of the month for the entirety of 2020.

Hologrpahic foil set on a dark 11" x 11" poster makes the moon's phases shimmer as light strikes them in this unique art piece.

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